One Small Step for Man…

As Elon Musk’s Starman makes his way off into outer space, I was reminded of Neil Armstrong’s famous words about small steps and giant leaps, as he stepped onto the surface of the moon.

Last autumn I had the privilege of being involved in an amazing charity project, which was the culmination of years of planning, hours of hard work by a dedicated band of volunteers and a substantial amount of fundraising.  When the idea of bringing 18 South African teachers to the UK to learn teaching methods, gain insights and to share their culture with schoolchildren in Oxfordshire, many said it was a giant leap, possibly unachievable.

But, by taking that grand vision and breaking it down into manageable chunks, the members of the group were able to take one step at a time and slowly but surely bring their dream to reality.  A large, complex task was just built of lots of smaller steps, which once executed in the right order, at the right time and in the right way, all added up to a successful outcome.

Of course, things didn’t always go to plan.  There were major stumbling blocks placed in the way – fundraising was hard, visa applications a LOT more stringent than in the past, and finding places for 18 Africans to stay for a week was not without challenges.  But small steps managed to work round, through or over even these barriers, like an unstoppable force.

[Whilst on the subject of unstoppable forces, I should note that this was not a small step for man, but a small step for woman – every one of the committee was female, so apologies to them for the masculinity of Armstrong’s quote]

In life and business, the same is true – almost any dream, goal or giant leap can be broken down into small steps – which can be taken each day or week and over time, especially with compounding, can add up to sizable impacts.  So, whatever your own version of walking on the moon is, you probably can achieve it.

  • Break the goal down into smaller tasks, or interim milestones, that will inexorably lead to success
  • Take action – do those tasks each and every day to move forward step by step
  • When barriers present themselves, take initiative and walk round, through or over them – step by step

What is the giant leap you want to take?

What are the first five to ten steps you can take to get going?

Why not start now? Or at least when you have finished reading this!

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